Some of my kids at my elementary school told me about it in the morning, so I decided to use my evening cycle ride as a chance to go down and check it out. The bulk of the festival (people stepping through a giant ring of fire) was at midnight, which I couldn’t make - so I went to check out the stalls and events.
Pretty much as soon as I got there I saw some of my kids at a stall, so I crept up behind them and said in a very friendly, but loud voice, “Hello, how are you?”. One kid span around and just trembled for a few seconds, the others all jumped, but answered and said hello, and we had a chat about the festival. Then I heard “PETER SENSEI” from across the shrine, and one of my really friendly cute 5th years came charging at me in a gorgeous yukata. I am not afraid to say I let out a high pitched “kawaiiiiiii” just in reflex.
Again, we chatted about the festival, then I asked what her recommendation for festival food was. Kid knew what was up. She recommended Sharpin ( シャーピン), which is apparently Chinese, and is pork and vegetables cooked in a kinda squished bun type thing, to make like a filled flatbread kinda looking thing. After she recommended it to me, she suddenly looked around at the stalls and whispered “these stalls aren’t good though, come with me” and lead me through the festival to a Sharpin stall right at the back, then recommended me two flavours (salt and spicy) and the order to eat them in xD I gotta say, girl had taste, those things were amazing.
Met some more of my kids, chatted with their parents a little, and some of the stall owners. It was a really wonderful time. If you get a good school in JET, with friendly kids, seeing them about like that can really make your day, and it did mine.